Lovin’ It in Lewisham

The London Borough of Lewisham sits to the east of Southwark (so should you find yourself in need of self storage  – it’s not too far away from our Southwark store). Covering over 13 square miles it has an estimated population of 291,933 with typical mix of ethnicity that makes London the wonderful and vibrant place it is to live.

But how did Lewisham begin? Who and what is it famous for?  So here we go, in another blog that focusses on the Boroughs around our Self Storage centres we take a look at Lewisham…

Historians believe that Lewisham (the town rather than the wider Borough) goes back to the 6th Century, when a Pagan Jute by the name of Leof burned his boat and settled near the site of St. Mary’s Church.  Like much of London, the initial village was built on the edge of marshland, which was expanded into as people found ways to drain land more effectively.  “Leoshema” was no exception  and gradually spread north as the marshland between the rivers Quaggy and Ravensbourne were reclaimed.  During the dark ages, King Alfred the Great was Lord of the Manor of Lewisham, before his niece gave the area to the Abbey of ST. Peter at Ghent.

Like many London Borough’s there’s a comprehensive list of notable people that have either been born or lived within Lewisham’s borders. Performance art must be something in the water – as the list of musicians, actors and other performers is long and distinguished – musicians who lived in Lewisham include Kate Bush, Gabrielle, Maxi Priest, Bill Wyman, Mica Paris, whilst both Louise Redknap (nee Nurding) and Luke Pritchard of The Kooks were born in the Borough. Notable Actors residing in Lewisham include Timothy Spall & Jason Statham, whilst Jude Law previously made the Borough his home.

Lewisham was once at the heart of London’s Docks – with Deptford on the Borough’s northerly boundary (the southbank of the River Thames) providing home to a Naval Dockyard that built and maintained Warships for over 350 years.  Henry VIII founded the yard in 1513, and it was active until 1869.  Many of Great Britain’s most famous seafarers were associated with the yard through the ships which were built and serviced there – including explorers Francis Drake, Walter Raleigh, James Cook and George Vancouver along with Naval heroes including Nelson and Collingwood.

Lewisham recently found new fame as the backdrop for Danny Baker’s successful BBC comedy biopic “Cradle to Grave” starring Peter Kay & set around his childhood stomping ground of Deptford, where his dad was a docker. Here’s a snifter if you missed it…